Magazine article Opera Canada

Marianne Fiset

Magazine article Opera Canada

Marianne Fiset

Article excerpt

In 2005, following a brilliant course of study at the Conservatoire de musique de Quebec with Jacqueline Martel-Cistellini, and with a Conservatory First Prize in her pocket, Marianne Fiset set off for l'Atelier lyrique de l'Opera de Montreal. She was 26. While enjoying the rewards of this professional training program, she also appeared on stage elsewhere, including the Cleveland Art Song Festival, took part in various competitions and, in November 2006, tied for second place in the OSM Standard Life Competition (first prize was not awarded that year).

In June 2007, at 28, Fiset became the talk of the Canadian opera community when she was named winner of the Grand Prize of the Montreal International Musical Competition, also garnering four of the six special awards presented as part of the event and collecting the tidy sum of $49,000 in prize money. Her strong musicality, her sincerity and the roundness of her lyric soprano appealed equally to the jury and the public, a double success that could only thrill the young artist, who had, like many other entrants, mainly entered the competition "for the experience." From that moment, Fiset's career fast-forwarded, as a last-minute replacement for Isabel Bayrakdarian in Toronto at the first Luminato Festival and then, in late June, a trip to London and Paris where, following a bout with bronchitis, she performed two concerts that attracted a great deal of attention. The sudden boost to her career led her to withdraw from a planned third year as a member of l'Atelier lyrique.

Among other dreams, the young diva aspires to sing Mimi in La boheme and Liu in Turandot--Puccini is one of her favorite composers--and to take on Russian opera, a repertoire for which she feels a particular affinity. Her debut album, recorded by Analekta last summer and released in May, showcases another specialty in its collection of French melodies. In September 2007, Les Radios francophones publiques (Radio France, RTBF, Radio Suisse Romande and Radio-Canada) presented her with the group's Jeune soliste 2008 award, which came with a 4,000 euro prize, for "her very strong stage presence, her musicality and her mastery of the program contents, which combined four different styles and as many languages (Ravel, Dvorak, Puccini and Rachmaninov). …

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